Archaeological excavations in Gadara (modern Umm Qais) have exposed a “first of its kind” Hellenistic temple in the region. As discussed in an earlier blog (see: Pella and Gadara, two more settlements for Alexander’s veterans), Gadara emerged in the wake of Alexander the Great together with Pella and Gerasa, and shares most of their history. Gadara was coveted by both the Ptolemies and the Seleucids who captured and recaptured it time and again confirming the role it played on the trade routes with the east.
Pottery shards will have to narrow down the construction date of the temple but so far it has been revealed that it was built in the Ionic order. The ground plan has enabled to recognize the pronaos, a podium and a naos, the holiest part. As so often, the building has been reused later on by the Romans, Byzantines and Muslims.
In the center of Gadara, a network of water tunnels has also been discovered consisting of a number of Hellenistic wells and Roman tunnels that led to one of the central Baths.
It is always a great pleasure to hear that new buildings and artifacts will be added to the already existing rich remains of this once so proud city.